Government may soon access private emails, Whatsapp messages

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Sep 22, 2015, 2:29 am IST
Updated Jan 10, 2016, 8:50 am IST
The draft also seeks to control the security level that online apps can build into their products
Representational Image
 Representational Image

New Delhi: The government is mulling over a policy decision that could make it mandatory for all users to to save their messages and emails for upto 90 days, and be able to produce them when asked by authorities. The controversial new policy appears in its new draft of the National Encryption Policy on internet security, which was uploaded over the weekend for feedback from the public.

Under the new policy, WhatsApp and Gmail users will be required to store their messages for 90 days. The draft’s proposal also holds major implications for foreign software services providers because it gives the Indian government the right to determine what encryption standards should be used.

The draft also seeks to control the security level that online apps can build into their products and cites national security concerns to justify its proposals.

"Service providers located within and outside India, using encryption technology for providing any type of services in India must enter into an agreement with the government for providing such services in India,” the draft says.

Activists for online freedom argue that the move destoys whatever semblence to priavcy in online communication exists in the country.

They also argue that since the governmetn has invoked the IT Act while making the document, it would be deemed illegal not to comply.

The move comes at a time when the government is formulating its stand on net neutrality.


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